I remember following instructions driving in the
countryside of Massachusetts and later in Ontario

trying to find a nudist club.

„Third side road, 22nd yellow mailbox, large triang

le,“ or similar words. It was like finding a drug dealer.

Near Denver the directions were vague in the extre

me so my tired wife and I gave up and drove into the

city and stayed in a hotel.

What a nice change to move to Europe and see giant

signs on the highway: „FKK Camping, 10km.“ It‘s no

harder than finding a McDonald‘s. Countries outs

ide German-speaking areas, like Hungary, also use

„FKK“ because folks know what it means.

What an amazing change to time and place. On the

internet I learned that near Vienna, part of the Da

nube lsland had an area designated „FKK“ for nude

swimming. The Donau Island is a manmade island

13 miles long, 70-200 yards wide, created by dum

ping the sludge from dredging the Danube between

1972 and 1988. There are no cars, but it is used for

cycling, rollerblading swimming and canoeing. There

are a few bars and restaurants and (hard to believe) a

swimming pool. It gets about three million visitors a

year and has one of Europe‘s largest music festivals.

I had a visitor from home in Canada and we travelled

by subway to the island and trudged endlessly in

summer heat looking for the nude area. We finally

gave up and just plunged in between the bushes on

the riverbank. Nobody complained.

Years later, an American woman living in Vienna told

me that I should have gone south instead of north

when I‘d visited the island earlier. She and I cycled

from Praterstern Park on to a bridge for pedestrians

and bikes and down a spiral ramp on to the island

and pedalled south to the big FKK sign.

Another time I tried to walk that distance because I

was in Vienna without my bike, but it seemed so far

that I gave up and again just jumped in.

Again, nobody complained. The amazing news is

that across the river channel, on what you might call

the mainland, there is a bus (92B) that takes you to

five different stops along the huge FKK area. Every

one of them connects to the nude part of the Danu

be. There are a number of parking lots right off the

highway, just a few yards from the nude area. Most

have a restaurant or snack bar. At one of them you

do not need to dress at all to get served. No coded

directions, no mysterious mailboxes. Nudism is so

popular that the area filled with naked people has

expanded westward, so in practice it is double the

size demarcated by signs, and in reality it‘s almost

three miles long on both sides of the channel or six

miles altogether.

There are interesting differences between the two

sides. Where access is easy, everyone has a camp

bed for sunning often with an extra shade above the

sunbather‘s head so one‘s eyes do not get flied.

The crowd is older and less fit (car dependent).

On the Danube Island side, there is almost no garden
furniture, people come by bike or walk (a long way).

They are less obese. The area is also not 100% nude

but a mix of clothed and unclothed, including a gay

men section (unmarked, but clear enough).

My conclusion is this feels like a victory.

This is what the world will be like when we have

„won“ acceptance for nude living as gay rights are

winning acceptance now. You do not have to pass a

background check You do not have to demonstrate

that the person you are with is your legal spouse.

There are no fences. At smaller nudist clubs the

fences are necessary to keep out trespassers and ga

wkers, which gives me the feeling that I am in a zoo

or a minimum-security prison.

This feels like punishment for having bizarre ideas

that are „shocking“ to so many respectable people.

There are no security guards and no posted rules. It

is the dream of anarchists that people use common

sense and regulate themselves.

This is a taste

of the world

as it could be.

Richard Fuchs